In the distant future, humanity has spread across the universe but lost Earth.
Civilisation spans stars and galaxies, nestling sparkles of light and warmth among the vast inhospitable infinities of unexplored and uninhabitable space. Humanity, divided into warring factions according to morphotype and ideology, shares the cosmos with various xenoc and AI species, and with things even more alien.
In the dysfunctional hypercapitalist-fascist Holy Terragen Corporatewealth, dominated by sentient advertising and proslytising evangelists, feisty 15-year old part-time professional shopper and madvert fighter, Kam Valentinon works part time as a professional shopper, while contending with manipulative adults, schoolyard bullies, and neurotic parents on her home planet of Denbard. Loner science nerd and wannabe explorer and xenoarcheologist Marcen Landin loves escaping his oppressive home life to explore the deserts of Niven with his pet cat splice Felicia fossicking for ancient alien relics in the badlands. Teenage techie Freedai Reynofar-Modd lives with her obsessive compulsive father in a cramped apartment full of bots, drones, and junk, on the city-planet of New Old New Earth,
Eventually they will all meet on the mile-long starship Alcione, at which point their adventure will only be beginning.
The alcioneverse is the shared universe in which my various stories take place. The name “Alcioneverse” is etymologically inspired by Buffyverse and Honorverse, except the name honours a spaceship rather than a female protagonist. However, I do have a feisty female protagonist, well, two actually.
The neologism “Buffyverse” was coined by fans of the popular Young Adult 1990s urban fantasy TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and later adopted by the series creator Joss Whedon (There’s also a “Firefly Verse” for Whedon’s eponymous cult space opera series, although here the emphasis is simply on the “verse” as an abbreviation of Universe, although this term can be equally appropriate).
Clearly inspired by the above, fans of military SF writer David Weber would later coin a similar neologism “Honorverse” to refer to David Weber’s books about Honor Harrington (a female version of C. S. Forester’s Napoleonic naval hero Horatio Hornblower, but in Space) and the overall worldbuilding around that.
Other franchises in contrast say “universe” or “timeline”; e.g. the Star Wars Expanded Universe, or JJ Abram’s Star Trek “Kelvin Timeline”, Or emphasising the mythic rather than the scifi, “saga” or “chronicles” or “ballard” (e.g. The Chronicles of Riddick, or Alan Moore’s The Ballad of Halo Jones) but I prefer the abbreviated “verse” (especially since I’ve already got three syllables with “Alcione”).
I haven’t gotten into worldbuilding here to the extent I did in Orion’s Arm for example. Too much worldbuilding can suck the oxygen out of storytelling. Tolkien however was the master, in that he could integrate worldbuilding with storytelling. While some worldbuilding is necessary to define the setting, I expect the rest will emerge organically with the writing.
text © M Alan Kazlev, 2016-2017. illustration © M Alan Kazlev, 2017